The New York Yankees have a long and storied history of discovering and cultivating talent. From legends like Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle to modern-day stars like Aaron Judge, the Yankees have a knack for recognizing future greats.
The latest player to join this elite group is Anthony Volpe, a promising shortstop who’s poised to become a Major League superstar. To start his MLB tenure, Volpe has experienced his fair share of ups and downs over a small sample size, but the potential is obvious.
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Minor League Accomplishments
Anthony Volpe’s performance in the minor leagues has been nothing short of extraordinary. In his most recent season, Volpe posted a .251 batting average with 18 home runs, 60 RBIs, and a staggering 44 stolen bases (Double-A level from 2022). These impressive numbers demonstrate his versatility as a player, combining power-hitting with speed and agility. Volpe only played 25 games at the Triple-A level in Scranton but won the starting shortstop job outright over Oswald Peraza.
His excellent plate discipline has allowed him to maintain a high on-base percentage, proving that he can be both a consistent hitter and a patient batter who can draw walks when needed. Volpe’s defensive prowess at shortstop is equally impressive, with his quick reflexes and strong arm making him a critical asset in the field.
Volpe had produced an error in two straight games prior to Wedesndays’ demolition of the Twins, but his defense has been otherwise adequate. He currently hosts a .963 fielding percentage and one DRS (defensive run saved).
Despite the inconsistencies at times, Volpe has been fully embraced by the clubhouse, and he’s returned the favor.
“I think they have totally embraced him, and Anthony has embraced them back,” Aaron Boone said. “He’s very much entrenched and part of that group, and part of that closeness this group has forged over the last few years. Anthony’s becoming a big part of that.”
Key Attributes for Success with the Yankees
Anthony Volpe’s skillset and accomplishments in the minor leagues have laid the foundation for a successful transition to the Major League level. Some of the key attributes that will contribute to his future success include:
Consistency at the Plate: Volpe’s ability to make contact and get on base consistently is crucial in the big leagues. As he faces more experienced pitchers, his plate discipline and ability to adjust will be invaluable.
Power and Speed: Volpe’s unique combination of power and speed makes him a versatile offensive threat. His ability to hit for power and steal bases puts pressure on opposing teams and opens up scoring opportunities for the Yankees.
Defensive Skills: A great shortstop is crucial to a team’s defensive success. With his range, instincts, and arm strength, Volpe has the potential to become an elite defender at the Major League level.
Baseball IQ: Volpe’s understanding of the game and his ability to make smart decisions on the field will be an essential factor in his success. As he faces more complex situations in the big leagues, his baseball IQ will continue to grow, making him an even more valuable player.
Diving into his 2023 Stats:
To start his 2023 season and first MLB action, the 21-year-old shortstop is hitting .228 with a .358 OBP. His batting average is quickly elevating, and his ability to get on base is quite apparent. He’s smashed two homers with seven RBIs and has stolen eight bases across 25 games.
If you extrapolate that pace across a 162-game season, assuming he plays every game, he should hit around 13 homers with 45 RBIs and 52 stolen bases. Of course, the Yankees will have to give him a day off every now and then, but assuming he only continues to grow and develop, his final 2023 metrics should be phenomenal for a rookie.
In fact, the young infielder currently hosts a 109 wRC+, indicating he’s 9% better than the average MLB player. While he is striking out at a 29.5% rate, he’s also walking at a 16.8% clip.
Over Volpe‘s last 12 games, he’s hitting .293 with a .442 OBP and .463 SLG. He has a max exit velocity of 92.9 mph, a 164 wRC+, a 21.2% walk rate, a 51.9% hard-hit rate, and five stolen bases. His impeccable plate discipline and daily growth attest to one of manager Aaron Boone’s better decisions this past off-season.
The Yankees needed a future shortstop, and they certainly found one with Volpe. It’s just a matter of how they will continue developing some of their other prospects, notably Oswald Peraza, who had his starting job pulled right out from under him.